The scale of your dishonesty beggars belief, judge tells woman who stole Grenfell funds

JENNY MCDONAGH: Former finance manager enjoyed a lavish lifestyle using stolen funds.
JENNY MCDONAGH: Former finance manager enjoyed a lavish lifestyle using stolen funds.

A fraudster who went on a spending spree using money stolen from a Grenfell Tower victim fund and the NHS has been jailed for five and a half years.

Photos of former finance manager at Kensington and Chelsea Council Jenny McDonagh, 39, captured her lavish lifestyle of dining in high-end restaurants, buying expensive clothes and heading on nights out using stolen money.

She stole £62,000 that was meant for victims of the fire and a further £35,000 while previously working for the NHS.

Selfies of her posing in an expensive dress from Hobbs and boarding a Thames Clipper boat heading on a night out, as well as pictures of her in restaurant Burger and Lobster, were released after her trial.

She also gambled £32,000 of the Grenfell money, losing £16,000.

McDonagh, from Abbey Wood, south-east London, also paid for trips to Dubai, Los Angeles, Iceland and Paris using money that was meant to pay for accommodation and other essentials needed by those who lost their homes in the Grenfell Tower fire last year.

Speaking at her sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday, Judge Robin Johnson said: “You knew exactly what these funds were for and the importance of them for the residents.

“The scale of your dishonesty in this fraud beggars belief.

“I do not know your current financial position but I very much hope the funds can be recovered from you.”

McDonagh used her job with the council to get hold of pre-paid credit cards that should have been given to survivors of the fire.

One of those cards, which was in the name of the vice chairman of survivor campaign group Grenfell United, Edward Daffarn, was topped up 17 times.